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How Your Feet Can Be a Window Into Your Health

By Sara Butler

Your feet take a real beating. Day after day, they hit the pavement to get you where you’re going. On average, you take about 8,000 steps per day, but how much time do you spend caring for your feet after all that? Probably not a lot of time if you’re like most people. Well, it’s time to start paying a little more attention to your feet because they can be a window into the bigger picture of your health -- and here's how.

Never Go Barefoot in a Public Shower

No doubt you learned this lesson the hard way during your dorm years, but it bears repeating! The showers in public places such as locker rooms, gyms, and dorms are home to all kinds of fungus that you want nowhere near your precious feet.

Make sure when you’re in public that you wear flip-flops or some kind of water shoe to protect yourself. Also, make sure that when you dry your feet you take the time to dry between your toes. Moist environments are breeding grounds for a fungus that will make you itch!

Your Feet are an Indicator of Health

Did you know that your feet can serve as a window into your overall health? If you ever notice the skin on your feet becoming shiny or thin, then you may have peripheral artery disease. That means a buildup of plaque on the walls of your arteries has caused poor circulation. This is a huge warning signal and you should see a medical professional immediately, because peripheral artery disease can lead to much more serious issues, such as stroke or heart problems.

If you notice dry skin on your feet or foot ulcers that take a long time to heal (if they heal at all), then you may have undiagnosed diabetes. This condition can impair your skin’s ability to produce oil and sweat -- so be on the lookout!

How Long Are Your Toes – And Does It Matter?

Look at your toes, specifically the length of your second toe in relation to your big toe. Is it longer? If so, you may be one of the 20 to 30 percent of Americans that has an increased risk of bunions, hammer toes, or even lower back problems due to the way pressure is distributed through your body. Weight should be pushed off your big toe, but if the second one is just a tad longer than the first, then it can cause foot problems. These problems can translate into problems all overif you’re not careful.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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